On Tuesday afternoon, the American Hockey League released the schedule for all 30 of their franchises. The 2017-18 season will mark the AHL’s 82nd year in operation and the Hershey Bears’ 80th season.
The Bears will open the season on the road on Saturday, October 7th against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, the Flyers AHL affiliate, for a rematch of the teams’ first round series in the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs. The home opener at the Giant Center will take place on Saturday, October 14th against the Belleville Senators, Ottawa’s affiliate. Arguably the biggest game of the Bears’ schedule comes on January 20th when the franchise hosts the tenth outdoor game in league history at Hersheypark Stadium. The Bears will play state-rival Lehigh Valley.
View a printable schedule here.
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SCHEDULE RELEASED FOR HERSHEY’S HISTORIC 80th ANNIVERSARY SEASON
Hershey opens on home ice Oct. 14, hosts three Western Conference opponents, and skates outdoors in 2017-18
(Hershey, PA- July 11, 2017)-The Hershey Bears, in conjunction with the American Hockey League, have released the 2017-18 schedule for the club’s historic 80th Anniversary Season. A complete version of the 76-game schedule is available via HersheyBears.com.
The Bears open the 2017-18 regular season on the road on Saturday, Oct. 7 at Lehigh Valley in a rematch of the opening round of the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs. Hershey’s Home Opener at the Giant Center will take place on Saturday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. versus the Belleville Senators.
The marquee event of the 2017-18 season is the 2018 Outdoor Classic on Jan. 20 at Hersheypark Stadium. The Bears will host an outdoor contest versus the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Tickets will go on sale for this special event on Friday, Aug. 18, with a season ticket holder presale in early August.
Hershey will play three Western Conference opponents during the 2017-18 season. The Bears will meet the defending Calder Cup Champion Grand Rapids Griffins on home ice on Sunday, Mar 11. Hershey also hosts the Milwaukee Admirals on Saturday, Dec. 2, and battles with the Rockford IceHogs at the Giant Center on Saturday, Feb. 24. The Bears will also make a trip to the midwest early in the season, playing at Milwaukee, Grand Rapids, and Rockford on Oct. 20-22.
The Bears will also renew a rivalry with the Charlotte Checkers, who return to the Eastern Conference this season. Hershey plays Charlotte eight total times, and hosts its new Atlantic Division rival at the Giant Center on Jan. 6-7, and Feb. 3-4.
Hershey’s schedule features 12 games, including six on home ice, versus Atlantic Division rivals Lehigh Valley and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Hershey’s first home game versus the Phantoms is Sunday, Oct. 15, while the Bears welcome the Penguins to town for the first time on Sunday, Nov. 12.
The club’s schedule features 11 “three-in-threes” where Hershey will play three games in three nights. This number is down from 14 during the 2016-17 season. The Bears busiest months are December and March in which they will play 14 total games. Hershey hosts the most home games on Saturday nights (18), while they’ll also play home games on Wednesday (5), Friday (1), and Sunday (14). Home games will once again start at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights, and at 5 p.m. on Sunday evenings. The lone exception is the Sunday, Feb. 4 game versus Charlotte. That contest will start at 2 p.m. due to the NFL championship game.
A complete promotional schedule will be released in the coming month. Individual game tickets are slated to go on sale in September.
Information on full season tickets, 22-game and 12-game plans and flex-10 ticket plans for the 2017-2018 season is available now by calling (717) 508-BEAR or by visiting HersheyBears.com. Flexible ticket plans start as low as $195 per seat.
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The American Hockey League also sent out a release and published highlights of their upcoming season.
The American Hockey League today released the complete schedule of games for the 2017-18 regular season, the league’s 82nd year of operation. The season, comprising 1,116 games, begins on Fri., Oct. 6 and concludes on Sun., Apr. 15.
Some highlights of the 2017-18 schedule:
• The 2017-18 regular season opens with six games on Oct. 6, including the opening of Place Bell in Laval, Que., as the Laval Rocket host the Belleville Senators in the inaugural game for both teams.
• Also on Oct. 6, the Grand Rapids Griffins celebrate their 2017 Calder Cup championship when they drop the puck at Van Andel Arena against Manitoba.
• The Chicago Wolves’ first game as the top affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights is set for Oct. 6 at Texas.
• The Binghamton Devils hit the ice for the first time on Oct. 7 when they host Bridgeport.
• Belleville plays its home opener at the newly renovated Yardmen Arena on Nov. 1 against Syracuse.
• The Hershey Bears, who are commemorating their 80th AHL season this year, host the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Hersheypark Stadium on Jan. 20 in the 10th outdoor game in league history.
• The Providence Bruins will play their 2,000th regular-season game on Dec. 10 vs. Utica, becoming the seventh AHL franchise ever to reach that plateau.
• The Manitoba Moose play the 1,000th regular-season game in the franchise’s AHL history on Feb. 7 at Grand Rapids; the Toronto Marlies play game number 1,000 on Mar. 20 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
• There are three days this season on which all 30 AHL teams are in action: Fri., Oct. 21; Sat., Jan. 27; and Sat., Mar. 31.
• The 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs will get underway the week of Apr. 16, featuring the top four teams in each of the AHL’s four divisions as ranked by points percentage (points earned divided by points available).
The American Hockey League was officially born in 1936 when the Canadian-American Hockey League and the International Hockey League merged to form the International-American Hockey League (the “International” would be dropped from the league’s name in 1940). The AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 31 National Hockey League teams; more than 88 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers.
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